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Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Power Bill This Winter

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Here are 10 things you can do today to lower your energy bill this winter. It can be a challenge to keep your home dry and warm during New Zealand winter. Here are some top ways to prepare for a warmer, healthier home this winter, and save on your electric bill.

1. Make sure you have the best power deal

Happy man at home with his family - he is getting a great deal on power!

New Zealand Power Plans come in all shapes and sizes, and the cost of not having the best power deal for your home can add up over the years. Switching to the best power deal is one of the easiest ways to reduce your power bill now. Luckily, the best power deals are all listed on Power Compare. Compare Power plans and find the best power deal here at Power Compare

2. Have a family plan

Two flatmates sitting together to discuss their Power Plan for winter

It’s much easier to reduce the amount of electricity you use to heat your home if you have a plan. Sit down with your family or flatmates to have a chat – try to think about which rooms you need to heat, which you don’t, and make sure everyone knows to keep internal doors shut. Try to come to an agreement about the best thermostat settings, what times you’ll be in to need a warm home, or whether everyone just needs to invest in some woolly socks and fleecy jumpers! A bit of planning and a few small changes can all add up to big savings on your electricity bill over the winter.

3. Get to know your heating options

A warm wood burner inside a home during winter

Make sure you choose the best heating options for your home. How you use a room will help you decide the type of heater that’s most suitable. For larger rooms that you use regularly, it may be worth paying the upfront cost to install a fixed heater with lower running costs. Electric heaters will be better for smaller rooms or rooms you only want to heat occasionally. Check out Energywise to compare home heating running costs, and the benefits and risks of different types of heating options.

4. Install insulation

Insulation installed inside a wall cavity

Good quality insulation keeps your home warm in winter and cool summer. This makes your home easier and cheaper to heat properly and more comfortable to live in. Prioritise wall and floor insulation, followed by walls. If you are a homeowner you may qualify for funding to insulate your home under Warmer Kiwi HomesIf you are a tenant, all rental homes are required to have ceiling and underfloor insulation by 1 July 2019.

 5. Seal Air Leaks

Woman enjoying a warm coffee inside a home sealed of air leaks and cold draughts

A cold draught sneaking in under your door can create a real chill in winter. This can easily be fixed with a draught stopper, excluder or door snake. There are plenty of other ways a cold draught can get into your house. Check how well your windows and doors shut out the cold. Also check out:

  • Chimneys and fireplaces
  • attic hatches
  • where dryer vents pass through walls
  • fans or vents
  • pipes (for example under the sink)
  • cable TV and phone lines
  • electrical and gas service entrances
  • electrical outlets and switch plates

6. Heavier Curtains

Warm curtains sitting open during the day to allow natural sun to warm the room

Large windows cool down fast when the temperature outside drops – so it’s worth investing in some floor length thermal curtains to stop the cold right there. Thermal curtains are most effective if they fall well below the window, preferably all the way to the floor. Another handy tip is to leave curtains open during the day to allow the warm sun to shine in, and shut the curtains when it starts to gets dark to trap the natural heat inside your house.

7. Clean your heater

Radiator heater that needs to be cleaned to prepare for winter

Show your heater some love to ensure it runs efficiently. Clean out filters, and make sure your ducted systems are clean and clear of any obstructions.

8. Check your hot water system

Hot water running from a tap

Shorter showers save a lot of energy, and showers use less hot water than baths. If you are trying to reduce your power bill, it may be worth limiting long hot baths to certain nights of the week. If you’ve had your hot water system for a while, it may be worth checking that it’s running to maximum efficiency and has no major energy-consumption issues.

9. Electric blankets

Woman tucked up in a warm bed

Electric blankets use very little energy. If you plan to stay in the same place for a while, curl up with one to save on energy.

10. Hot water bottles

Hot water bottle and a warm pair of socks

Hot water bottles aren’t just for your nan - they can work wonders in winter. Curling up with a hot water bottle helps you feel toasty, without needing the heater on.  Pop a hot water bottle in bed with your pyjamas, so you have warm pjs and a nice warm bed waiting for you.

If none of the tips above work for you, consider changing your power provider. It's free to compare, and you can save lots of money.

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